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We Must Regain Our Humanity at Work

Rodd Wagner

April 15, 2015

"We've lost much of our humanity at work. No one saw it coming. No one intended it. It arrived in big changes to the economy, but also in small changes to the law, to technology, or to company policy, often with immediate benefits that masked their larger implications. The pension will be phased out in favor of a 401(k) match. The company will help pay for the latest digital device, so much the better to stay in touch with the office. One day a new electronic screening system helps HR take a first pass at incoming applications, and before long the software does most of the sifting. A modest change in workload leads to working through one weekend, which leads to another, which leads, before too long, to having a hard time remembering when one last took a weekend entirely uninterrupted by work. Having allowed these slight modifications to accumulate over a decade or so, we now find ourselves treating people much more like cogs in the machine, like widgets. We've lost much of the human touch for what we now call our 'human resources.' Whether a company gets it back will largely determine its future."

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